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Tiger-shaped models a roaring success as Vietnam’s Lunar New Year approaches

Saturday, January 01, 2022, 12:22 GMT+7
Tiger-shaped models a roaring success as Vietnam’s Lunar New Year approaches
A worker adorns a plaster tiger in Lai Thieu Ward, Thuan An City, Binh Duong Province. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre

With the Vietnamese Lunar New Year fest approaching, kilns in southern Vietnam’s Binh Duong Province are working around the clock to produce tiger-shaped pottery in honor of 2022’s zodiac animal.

The weeks leading up to the Lunar New Year holiday in Vietnam are a busy time for the country's artisans, with many working overtime to create pieces honoring the zodiac animal of the coming year.

Artisan Trinh Hai creates a clay tiger in Thuan An City, Binh Duong Province. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre
Artisan Trinh Hai creates a clay tiger in Thuan An City, Binh Duong Province. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre

The holiday rush is palpable in Binh Duong Province's pottery villages, where thousands of gold-plated clay tigers are being created to commemorate 2022, the Year of the Tiger.

To meet the hefty demand, many workshops have also started making tigers from plaster, in addition to traditional clay.

Artisan Nguyen Nhat Hao pours plaster into a tiger mold at a workshop in Lai Thieu Ward, Thuan An City, Binh Duong Province. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre
Artisan Nguyen Nhat Hao pours plaster into a tiger mold at a workshop in Lai Thieu Ward, Thuan An City, Binh Duong Province. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre

At her workshop in Lai Thieu Ward, Thuan An City, Binh Duong Province, Vo Thi Thanh Ha has been producing gold-plated tigers since October.

Ha's workshop does not only plate clay tigers bought from nearby workshops, but also produce plaster tigers itself.

Artisan Vo Thi Thanh Ha adorns a gold-plated plaster tiger in Lai Thieu Ward, Thuan An City, Binh Duong Province. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre
Artisan Vo Thi Thanh Ha adorns a gold-plated plaster tiger in Lai Thieu Ward, Thuan An City, Binh Duong Province. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre

"My workshop creates piggy banks in a variety of animal shapes, including pigs, cats, and other animals. Because this year is the Year of the Tiger, we're focusing on that animal," she said.

"So far, we’ve sold about 2,000."

"Due to a shortage of clay tigers, my factory creates tigers from plaster. The final product is smoother and looks better than clay, but it’s also more expensive."

"In previous years, my workshop was extremely busy before the Lunar New Year, and we had to work from early morning to 10:00 pm," Ha recalled.

"This year is different. Because of COVID-19, we only keep the workshop open until 4:00 pm. We’re also not selling as much as we have in other years."

"In the past, we used eight kilns to produce 10,000 items. This year, we’re only using four kilns and have had to cut production by half," Ha added.

Finished plaster tiger models on display in Lai Thieu Ward, Thuan An City, Binh Duong Province. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre
Finished plaster tiger models on display in Lai Thieu Ward, Thuan An City, Binh Duong Province. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre
A close-up view to the tiger mold at a workshop in Lai Thieu Ward, Thuan An City, Binh Duong Province. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre
A close-up view to the tiger mold at a workshop in Lai Thieu Ward, Thuan An City, Binh Duong Province. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre
A piggy bank adorned with tiger patterns in Lai Thieu Ward, Thuan An City, Binh Duong Province. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre
A piggy bank adorned with tiger patterns in Lai Thieu Ward, Thuan An City, Binh Duong Province. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre
A worker adorns a plaster tiger in Lai Thieu Ward, Thuan An City, Binh Duong Province. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre
A worker adorns a plaster tiger in Lai Thieu Ward, Thuan An City, Binh Duong Province. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre
A driver picks up clay and plaster models at a pottery workshop in Thuan An City, Binh Duong Province before transporting them to showrooms across the country. Photo: Ngoc Phuong
A driver picks up clay and plaster models at a pottery workshop in Thuan An City, Binh Duong Province before transporting them to showrooms across the country. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre

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